Sunday Aborisade in Abuja
The Senate yesterday urged President Bola Tinubu to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Committee for the Development of a Comprehensive Plan of Action on flooding.
The federal panel had recommended the establishment of a National Flood Management Council (NFMC) in Nigeria.
The agency is expected to serve as a central body responsible for coordinating flood management activities nationwide.
The Senate resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru (Lagos East).
The red chamber commiserated with the victims of the flood disaster and commended the governments of Lagos and Ogun states for their handling of the crisis occasioned by the flood disaster.
The Senate also directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send relief materials to the victims of the flood in the affected communities in Lagos and Ogun states.
It urged the federal government to convene a stakeholders’ meeting to x-ray the recurring situation of flood across the country with a view to proffering a lasting solution to flood disasters.
It also directed the relevant committees of the Senate to provide adequate funding for the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT), Hydrological Agency of Nigeria, and the River Basin Development Authorities to effectively carry out their responsibilities in line with their mandates.
In his motion, Abiru noted that a number of communities close to the coast lines in Ikosi-Isheri and Agboyi-Ketu in Lagos state and other communities in Ogun states, had always experienced flooding whenever the Oyan river dams are opened.
Part of the motion read: “The recent release of water from the Dam caused unimaginable havoc and to residents’ properties and livelihoods particularly on Tuesday 24th October, 2023;
“The dam which crosses the Oyan River, a tributary of the Ogun River was commissioned on 29 March, 1983 by Late President Shehu Shagari, and is operated by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, a parastatal under the Federal ministry of Water Resources.
“The residents of the areas have fled their homes and business, schools and religious centres have all shut down in the affected communities while in the Maidan area of Ikosi-Isheri, the water reportedly reached the neck region of an adult.
“The sad story is not different from the reports gathered at Caterpillar, Harmony Estates, and some parts of Channels TV road in Ikosi Isheri.
“Communities around Ikorodu road, shortly after mile 12 such as Agiliti 2, Owode Elede, Irawo, Ajegunle, Elias Estate, Famous, down to Itowolo have been taken over by flood.
“There is an urgent humanitarian crisis occasioned by the flood as those who were sacked by the flood are hanging around with family members and friends and only a few of their belongings could be savaged in the face of the fiery flood with food, clothing and shelter (even makeshift) are the urgent physiological needs of the people of the affected areas.
“Gladdened that in response to the threatening humanitarian crisis, the governors of Lagos and Ogun States and the Honourable Minister of Water Resources have all intervened in their respective capacities;
“Major causes of flooding are high river levels, concentration of overland flow due to heavy rainfall, limited capacity of drainage systems as well as blockage of waterways and drainage channels developed to facilitate surface run-offs.”
The utmost concern of and the purpose of government, the motion noted, is the security and safety of lives and properties in line with Section 14 (2) b of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.